Title: Addicted To You (Addicted, #1)
Author: Krista & Becca Ritchie
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release date: August 22nd 2013
She’s addicted to sex. He’s addicted to booze…the only way out is rock bottom.
No one would suspect shy Lily Calloway’s biggest secret. While everyone is dancing at college bars, Lily stays in the bathroom. To get laid. Her compulsion leads her to one-night stands, steamy hookups and events she shamefully regrets. The only person who knows her secret happens to have one of his own.
Loren Hale’s best friend is his bottle of bourbon. Lily comes at a close second. For three years, they’ve pretended to be in a real relationship, hiding their addictions from their families. They’ve mastered the art of concealing flasks and random guys that filter in and out of their apartment.
But as they sink beneath the weight of their addictions, they cling harder to their destructive relationship and wonder if a life together, for real, is better than a lie. Strangers and family begin to infiltrate their guarded lives, and with new challenges, they realize they may not just be addicted to alcohol and sex.
Their real vice may be each other.
New Adult Romance recommended for readers 18+ for mature content
Whoa! This really was all kinds of wrong but I was darkly fascinated by this dysfunctional couple and spellbound by their story.
If you’re looking for a hearts and flowers, starry-eyed romance you won’t find it here. I very much enjoyed this book but it’s a darker, really quite taboo romance and a gritty exploration of the darkness of addiction.
Lo and Lily are children to wealthy families with high expectations of them. They discover each other as childhood friends as well as their respective addictions. Lo is a functioning alcoholic and Lily a sex addict. They know it’s wrong but they are able to help each other out by hiding each other’s problems from the people around them and concocting a huge lie – that they are a couple and they live together. They each become the other’s enabler and Lo continues to drink himself into oblivion and Lily continues to find ever more dangerous, casual hookups for sex. They really are the best and yet the worst thing for each other. Really, they need help and rehab but they continue in their deception and sink further into their addictions. Until, one day, everything changes and they are thrown together unexpectedly on a family holiday on a boat and Lo must try to satisfy Lily's burning desire but he’s not prepared to share so they succumb to that simmering desire that’s bubbled between them for so long and try to be a bonafide couple.
“Have you ever thought about us together?”
I can hardly breathe. “Together?”
“Where I don’t share you with any other man.”
All the time. “Yes.” I keep expecting to wake up.
“If I could be enough to fill you, would you let me?”
I look at him. “Yes.”
“Then let me try,” he says, his hand cupping my face. “Let me try to be enough for you.”
Lo – Mr Loren Hale – how much did I adore this deeply flawed man? It’s so obvious just how much he adores Lily and how much her habit scares him but he is a slave to his addiction, his life ruled by when he can get his hands on the next drink. He is acutely aware of his problem and his feelings for Lily and a lot of his story struggles on his frustration that he can’t manage to juggle both. He’s spiralling further and further out of control and I really feared for him.
He rests his hand on my ankle, sending shivers up my spine. “I want to love you more than I love this”—he waves his bottle—“and I don’t know how else to do it unless there’s something to lose.”
I felt such incredible empathy with this broken man – his Father truly was a piece of work. He constantly belittled and humiliated Lo – it’s no wonder the guy turned to drink. His addiction really frightened me – I was so scared he would take it just that little bit too far and drink himself to death. His habit is incredibly destructive and, if he’s ever hoping to be there long-term for Lily, then he seriously needs to quit.
His addiction scares me sometimes. Alcoholism can destroy livers and kidneys, and one day, he may not wake up from a night of bingeing. But how can I tell him to stop? How can I judge him when I am nowhere near ready to let go of my crutch? So for right now, this is the best I can do
Lily’s habit was frightening in a different way. There’s a fine line between testing out your sexuality and desires and full-on sex addiction and Lily is so far gone as a sex addict, it’s scary. She’s actually quite bashful and not the kind of girl you would think would have this problem but, for her, missing out on sex is like a heroine addict going without their fix. She gets antsy and almost out of control. She is physically intimate with several people during the course of this story but never emotionally connects to any of them. Chasing sexual oblivion is a temptation as strong to her as a siren’s call but she is teetering on the edge of a well of darkness – there’s a desperate loneliness to her that I felt on so many levels. Can she reach out to Lo when she finds her situation spiralling out of control? She’s incredibly self-destructive.
My bottom lip quivered as the shame wedged a crevice in my heart. “Lo,” I choked his name. “What’s wrong with me?”
He came closer and bent down to my height on the bed. Carefully, he cupped the back of my head, his fingers intertwining in my brown locks. His deep amber eyes filled mine. “Nothing is wrong with you,” he said.
I really enjoyed this. This is a deeply flawed couple who’s behaviour I really should find abhorrent but this is clever writing and I found myself sympathising strongly with them, even wanting them to succeed in their deception. The authors (twin sisters apparently) do a fantastic job of guiding the reader to look beyond their addiction and see the troubled souls that lie beneath. Behind every story of addiction and what it entails, is a person in torment and that’s exactly what we find in Lily and Lo – both of them have deep emotional issues which they are using their addiction to mask. What they’re doing by helping one another is resolutely refusing to face up to their issues and using their drug of choice to guide them into blissful oblivion but I was hooked by their story. Ultimately, of course, I want them both to get better together and to leave their addictions behind and move forward as a couple but it’s hard to see how that could ever be possible. The story ends, not on a cliffhanger, but with so much left to tell and thankfully the next books are out already so I won’t have long to wait.
Our selfishness wedges between us. Neither of us is willing to give up what we love for each other. Not yet. And I’m not sure what it’s going to take to let go of our addictions.
So I’m hooked, addicted you might say, and I can’t wait to continue with this story
4.5 dysfunctional stars
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